Florida judge keeps GPS monitor on Trayvon Martin's killer

SANFORD, Florida Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:12pm EST

1 of 5. George Zimmerman (L) sits with defense counsel at the Seminole County courthouse for a hearing in Sanford, Florida, December 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/POOL

Related Topics

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida judge on Tuesday denied a request from accused murderer George Zimmerman to let him remove his GPS monitoring device and travel freely in the state pending his trial next June in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman, 29, has been confined to Seminole County under a $1 million bond since July, when a judge concluded that he had presented false information about his assets and was a flight risk.

Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, who is charged with perjury for allegedly lying to the judge about the couple's finances, live in hiding and "in fear of violence," according to a 74-page motion filed by his lawyer, Mark O'Mara.

O'Mara said Zimmerman needed the flexibility to travel for his personal safety and to be available to assist his lawyers in meetings with witnesses.

But Judge Debra Nelson summarily denied the request at a hearing dealing with a series of motions filed by O'Mara, most requesting access to potential evidence.

At the time of the shooting on February 26, Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated community in the central Florida city of Sanford.

Prosecutors say he pursued, confronted and killed Martin, a black 17-year-old who was returning with snacks to the townhouse where he was staying with his father to watch the NBA finals.

Zimmerman is expected to claim self-defense under Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law, which makes it difficult to prosecute a shooter who claims self-defense.

(Editing by Jane Sutton and Tom Brown)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (14)
Animated wrote:
there is absolutely no reason to remove the GPS tracking device from him…unless, of course, he is going to try to argue that the police that can monitor his position using the device are “out to get him”. The fact that he and his wife lied about finances proves he was and still is a flight risk.

Dec 11, 2012 8:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
ConradU812 wrote:
Thanks to the media (this outlet included), Zimmerman and his family is in danger of being assaulted and/or murdered by knuckle-dragging morons like the Black Panthers, who placed a bounty on his head. Nice to see due process in action.

Dec 11, 2012 9:23am EST  --  Report as abuse
Kuji wrote:
I think having a GPS monitor is a fair trade off than being thrown in jail until your trial. If you’re in jail, you typically can’t ask to leave because it’s cramping your style. Enjoy your freedom buddy. I’ll send you a tee-shirt that says “I joined neighborhood watch and all I got was this stupid GPS monitor”. Try not to shoot any urban youths on the way to your trial.

Dec 11, 2012 9:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.